Perils Of Hype

Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet, is widely acknowledged to have the most advanced self-driving technologies for vehicles. So, if Waymo is having troubles keeping journeys autonomous and safe, what can be said for the rest of the industry? That is the question that has arisenĀ since Waymo put safety drivers back into its vans. Hype would have it that we are on the cusp of an automotive revolution in which we settle back and let the car find its way safely from point A to point B or beyond. It turns out technology is not ready for every eventuality a driver is likely to encounter. There are bizarre occurrences that an experienced person can negotiate but a system cannot. It gets confused or it misses critical events completely. Yet, the public is waiting impatiently for these wonder vehicles that will allow one to text safely or remain on the phone or become otherwise engaged with hands off the steering wheel. It seems they will wait longer, and skeptics think they might wait forever. It would have been better for Waymo and its competitors if they had been underestimated. No one would be surprised by occasional failure. But the hype got ahead of itself as it often does.